Can jams and preserves expire? Tips to keep them
There is nothing more wonderful than jams, whether fruit or vegetables, especially if we make them ourselves in our own home. It is the best way, almost without any doubt, to be sure that it is a jam as natural and healthy as possible, especially if we use more ecological and sweetening options in its preparation.
This does not mean, of course, that the jams we find in markets and supermarkets are less healthy. But the truth is that we should never buy something without first observing its labeling, and make sure that the ingredients used in its preparation are always healthy, avoiding those that use a good amount of food additives (such as preservatives and dyes).
Thus, in the case of marmalades, it is possible to find between their composition only some additive used for its thickening qualities, as is the case above all of the pectin. It is also possible to find some acidulant, being used in many cases citric acid.
In these cases, the truth is that both pectin and citric acid are all-natural additives, so your consumption is always one hundred percent sure.
For example, pectin consists of a natural fiber found in the cell walls of plants, especially highlighting their presence in the skins of fruits. As it is very soluble in water, it has the capacity that when it binds with both the sugar and the acids of the fruit it forms a kind of gel, which is why it is commonly used in the preparation of homemade jams.
Although the ideal is to make homemade jams with fruits with high pectin content (as for example with quince), it is also possible to make them with fruits that do not have as much pectin. It is in these cases when the use of added pectin in its preparation is advised.
In the case of citric acid, also, it is a natural substance that we also find in many fruits, in a totally natural way. It is also used in the preparation of jams thanks to its acidifying quality, to reduce a little the sweet taste of these.
What is the shelf life of jams?
In the case of this type of natural products, we must take into account that the jams have a date of preferential consumption, which means that they do not have an expiration date.
This is due to the composition of jams, given that due to its high sugar content, it becomes a product in which it is certainly uncomfortable for pathogens to survive in them. The same happens, for example, with the honey, which practically never expires.
And what is the preferred use date? It consists of a date established by the manufacturer of the product, so that if consumed within this period of time we will be sure that the food is in an optimal state of preservation, maintaining all its organoleptic properties (flavor, aroma, texture ... ).
And when do we make our own jam?
If we make the jam ourselves it is always best to keep it in glass jars that can be closed hermetically. And keep the jars in cool, dry places, away from sunlight and high temperatures.
For it, it is very important to sterilize the containerscorrectly, in order to eliminate waste and bacteria that may have the containers. To achieve this, you just have to follow the advice that we indicate below:
- Wash the jar in depth, with soap and water.
- Remove the lid to the jars already washed. Insert them in a pan with water, boiling for 10 minutes.
- Once the lids are boiled place them on a cotton cloth (clean), and let them dry at room temperature.
- Now is the time to introduce the boats, adding water to cover all the jars. Let it boil for 30 minutes.
- Once boiled place them on a clean cotton cloth, placing them face down.
When we have already cleaned and sterilized the glass jars it is time to create the vacuum process. For this, when the jam is already prepared and is still hot, we must fill the cans leaving two centimeters at the top.
Close the jar with the lid tightly, turn it over and put it face down on a cotton cloth. It is important to leave them in this position until they are very cold.
Once this is done, it is best to consume the jams between the next 3 to 6 monthsafter the elaboration. However, they can remain in perfect condition for up to one year. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.